January 23, 2004

Leave Your Message At the Beep

Despite the thrill of landing my Dream Job and the nail-biting I am doing regarding my citizenship, I find today that I am broken.

Yesterday was a rough day. Not only did the temperature get to -20, but I had to go to the career counselling program as established by Company X for those of us losers that they let go. And this counselling program has a whole team set up just to handle the masses of people that Company X has sloughed off. The rooms were not well-lit, the job posting board was nearly bare, and the woman told me I already needed to sign up for the itty-bitty unemploymeny pay offered by the state, since I and all the other refugees of telecom would not be finding a job anytime soon.

I did not tell her I have a job, which I do, although the start date is still ambiguous. Company X wants me to jump through hoops for my severance package, so jump I shall. Ironically, I had a phone call Tuesday evening from an English recruiter hoping to hire me to work in Sweden, as they wanted someone who is a native English speaker who can speak Swedish and has a telecom background. Partner Unit went off in a depression that I said no, Mr. Y recommended I chase it up to cover all my bases, so I talked to the recruiter after all and he now has me on the back-burner, in case citizenship and visas fall through.

When it rains, it pours.

And when I walked out of the career counsellor's room, there was a man sitting at the table, looking through the ads, running a gold wedding-ringed hand through his brown hair, which was tinged with grey. His face wore the lines of stress, and I realized with a start that I knew him from Company X. We didn't acknowledge each other, two soldiers lost from the front, and I exited the building to face the bitter dark cold.

I went to bed by 8:00 pm last night, blissfully aided by pharmaceuticals and spent a night in Kafka dreams (which to me are dark and horrible dreams, not dreams where my father turns into a praying mantis and bites my head off). I know others here have been dreaming a lot lately, and so have I. I always dream that I am running, being hunted, and half the time I have to save some children on the way.

I almost always fail.

So due to the darkness that is career counselling, uncertainty over citizenships and visas, disagreements with Mr. Y and Dear Mate, and the continuing upset between Partner Unit and myself, I really am not such a happy camper today.

Anyway, if anyone needs me today, I will be in front of the tv with a bottle of chardonnay. It's just that kind of day.


Posted by Everydaystranger at January 23, 2004 08:15 AM | TrackBack

Please come back we miss you! Luuk? Where are you? Luuk?

I hope he's ok.....

Posted by: Tiffani at January 26, 2004 08:48 PM

Helen, I'm not a sappy motivational speaker so I'll not tell you to just cheer up.

I will say that we have watched you walk a path that has dipped and risen...and we always see you rise again. I hope you can see that too at times like this.

But I do hope you cheer up :)

Posted by: Rob at January 26, 2004 04:33 PM

I keep dreaming. And the dreams have recently turned to nightmares. But I can't post about how I'm killing my co-workers in my sleep... something tells me that might come back to haunt me. ;)

Posted by: Almost Lucid (Brad) at January 25, 2004 05:24 AM

As weird as this sounds, I'm really worried about Luuk. Where is he and is he alright? I was really looking forward to showing him some hillbilly fun--I see a major photo essay of the 'Life and Times of Luuk in the Appalachians". In any case, please let me know if he has survived his adventures. Also, on a different note...your blog is one of the first that I click upon given the opportunity. Girlfriend, you are one deep and interesting chick. I only wish you well.

Posted by: Marie at January 25, 2004 03:36 AM

Some days are good, and some are not...

But hey.. your life is in the upswing now, remember? So be happy!!

Posted by: Lucidly Awake at January 24, 2004 07:42 PM

Hmmmm. Would you look at all these posts, H?

I've been deployed for a year now. I have 91 guys that I have to take care of and take care of me. We've gone through some horrible times. We went through them together and it made all the difference. I'm glad you have this many people to care about you to help you make all the difference.

p.s. when i'm depressed (and I wont get courts martialed for drinking) boxed wine is best. there's something about sucking the life out of the 'box' that you're trying to climb out of.

Posted by: archi-sapper at January 24, 2004 06:31 AM

Well done on the job.. always keep a few extra Irons in the fire.. after all.. if nothing else... you can always call back and say "Well.. I appreciate your offer but can't accept.. however.. I know some good people over at Company 'X' who do good work.

Last time I lost my job it took me 2 years to find a new job. I made the mistake of breaking my leg.. (and missed only 2 weeks of work). Soon as I was able to walk well again.. they canned me... Dec 1st.. 30 days before my 5th year there.. (and the nice benefits you got for being there 5 years).

Posted by: LarryConley at January 24, 2004 03:05 AM

What Orsen said. Wellm except the nanu nanu bit.

Don't let the suckers take you down, you hear? Things are looking up for you, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Posted by: Gudy at January 23, 2004 10:32 PM

Pardon my intrusion, I have admired your courage, wisdom, honesty, openness, and just being a truly real person (which is rare these days) from the upper left corner of your monitor for several months. I have been relutant to speak prior to this posting. I do so today to let you know that you are respected and thought of in warm terms by many more people than you may know. As an older person I just give this personal thought..."The beauty and sweet aroma of the rose petals far outshadow the thorns" (knelling with bowed head, offering a rose)

Posted by: greyheadedstranger at January 23, 2004 08:54 PM

I don't know what i am i don't know where i've been
Human junk just words and so much skin
Stick my hands thru the cage of this endless routine
Just some flesh caught in this big broken machine

Happiness In Slavery, Nine Inch Nails

Orsen's right. It's the machine that's broken. Not you.

Posted by: Curator at January 23, 2004 07:22 PM

and im giving the big FU to my company X today.

Posted by: pylorns at January 23, 2004 07:16 PM

What's on tv in Sweden?

Sweet fuck all.

But that's ok, since I am already drunk.

Roger, Jay, Clancy, Curator, and everyone...I'm sorry. I'm a bit of a mess today :)

Orsen-thanks. I mean it.

Posted by: Helen at January 23, 2004 06:55 PM

I'm going to whole heartedly agree with kat here.

Take the day and take care of yourself.

Posted by: Laura at January 23, 2004 06:15 PM

Listen up. You are not broken. You might be a bit battered today, but you're not broken. A girl like you doesn't break easily. Read your own archives if you need proof. If you still need proof, well, um. I don't know. Take time, deconstruct (note: I did not say destruct), sit and stew, ponder and reponder, and nap. Napping makes everything better. But remember: you are not broken. nanu nanu.

Posted by: Orsen at January 23, 2004 06:11 PM

I heard a comedian say when he's depressed he takes a 6 pack to the nearest cemetary, sits down, and thinks "I'm doing better than all these guys." :)

Don't allow yourself to get too depressed; you're doing a lot better than a lot of people. Chant it with me, "Dream job, necklace, dream job, necklace, dream job, necklace:)"

Posted by: Solomon at January 23, 2004 05:37 PM

Yes Courtney, well put.

May I add one more job-hunting type? And this is not suggesting Helen should be this third type but for anyone else to consider.

The third type gets so pissed off at the situation that they feel that if they have to have stress, it might as well be the stress of starting a business.

Helen, your ability to observe people and capture what they are experiencing in a few sentences adds a great quality to your writing. Many people walk by the slightly grayed brown-haired guy wearing the wedding ring and stress and never notice because they are only thinking about themselves.

Sometimes while searching for a job it's good to read the biographies of people who started companies that now employ people such as LeTourneau of (www.letourneau-inc.com & www.letu.edu) or someone in a profession that interests you. Where they started from...

Posted by: Roger at January 23, 2004 05:24 PM

sit back, relax, watch a movie, drink some wine, curl up with pets, pamper yourself, take a long bath, read a good book. in other words, take good care of yourself and enjoy a quiet day. xoxox

Posted by: kat at January 23, 2004 05:21 PM

So what is on Swedish televison these days?

Posted by: Marie at January 23, 2004 04:46 PM

Those places are always ineffably depressing - the scent of pain, fear, and loss, the stress cutting people to the breaking point. *shudder* No wonder you feel like Hell!

As for job hunting m'darling, let me share my POV. There are two types of job-hunters in the world. Those who take the first thing that comes by, whether it be as a cashier as a grocery store or as a semi-respected member of their profession, and those who wait, sometimes years, for the perfect job, turning down other, perfectly decent jobs in the meantime. IMHO, those who wait tend to a) get better jobs, and b)be infinitely happier.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you're the type who takes the first job that comes along - in fact, I'm suggesting the opposite. You found a job that you *really* want, that you call a "Dream Job". Don't let anyone else nay-say your dreams, honey, no matter how important that person is to you. If they truly loved you, they would tell you to go for the gold, not the bronze. You'll regret your life if you don't.

And I understand the dreams. Very plausible, if I do say so myself. But, remember, if you adopt, your biological clock can just damn well keel over and die, because you can adopt at any age! :)*hugs*

Posted by: Courtney at January 23, 2004 04:27 PM

Hills and Valleys.

Posted by: ThatGuy at January 23, 2004 04:00 PM


Youíre going through a stressful period. Even though it may look like things are lining up in your favor, itís all still a big unknown and that is undeniably stressful. Have faith, drink lots of vino, and take a break. Youíve earned that much lately.


Posted by: Clancy at January 23, 2004 02:23 PM


Things shall work out. Often we are reticent to believe that, but the ineluctable conclusion is that you shall make your way to the new job!

Posted by: Jay at January 23, 2004 02:04 PM

Contrary to popular belief, everyone is entitled to a bad day every now and then. Enjoy the vino and see you on the other side.

Posted by: Curator at January 23, 2004 01:29 PM

Helen i am sorry you have had problems with Mr Y and Dear Mate, i am sure it is nothing that cant be resolved. Actually, fuck, what do i know?! But at least i hope they can be resolved.

I know it is the most irriating thing in the world to be told, but i am gonna do it anyway, there are still positive things to hang on to to get you through this difficult time. I am thinking of you petal,

Abs x

Posted by: abs at January 23, 2004 01:06 PM

Doesn't sound like such a bad day. Unless Swedish TV sucks as much as Hong Kong TV. In which case you're in big trouble.

Posted by: Simon at January 23, 2004 11:48 AM

provided when you wake from your dreams you're still you and not a cockroach you know things aren't too bad.

Chin up gal ... if you need a boost just re-read some of your comments - there's a whole highway of love running straight to your door (monitor thingy ... whatever)

Posted by: robert at January 23, 2004 10:48 AM

Having one of those days, eh? I wish I had the right thing to say to cheer you up. I can, however, let you know that I'll be thinking of you today and hoping you are feeling better. *HUGS*

Posted by: Sue at January 23, 2004 08:42 AM
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